India anxiety hits Volvo climax

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The Independent Online

As winds dropped anxiety rocketed for the final miles of the Volvo round the world race fleet approaching Kochi, south-west India, at the end if the second leg from Cape Town.

Organisers were also on full alert following the terrorist killings in Mumbai 1,000 kilometres north of the resort town where the eight boats should be arriving from Sunday onwards. There is no history of terrorist activity in Kochi, but the Indian Navy has been alerted and contact is constant between the British race hq, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Indian government and private agencies.

As on the first leg, Torben Grael's Ericsson 4 seemed to have made a decisive break with 600 miles to go, but, despite wallowing in three knots of breeze, Ian Walker's Irish entry Green Dragon was level-pegging with Anders Lewander's Ericsson 3 for second place with Bouwe Bekking's Telefonica Blue just one more mile adrift.

Roberti Bermudez has pushed Delta Lloyd up to fifth, ahead of a struggling Kenny Read in the American entry Puma.

Click below to listen to Stuart Alexander talk to Ian Walker

In the southern Atlantic, the leaders in the Vendee Globe solo round the world race were negotiating the last high pressure zone hurdle before digging into the big westerly winds which will carry them round Antarctica.

Loick Peyron's Gitana Eighty was less than five miles ahead of Sebastien Josse in the Cowes-based BT and in third place Jean-Pierre Dick's Paprec-Virback was neck and neck with Armel le Cleac'h in Brit Air.

Mike Golding's Ecover was still leading the British contingent, but he had slipped to ninth as Brian Thompson maintained 11th in Bahrain Team Pindar and Sam Davies 13th in Roxy.

Following the retirement of Jeremie Beyou's Delta Dore, Dee Caffari moved up to 15th in Aviva, Steve White to 17th Spirit of Weymouth and Jonny Malbon 18th Artemis.